WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today applauded Senate passage of their resolution reaffirming the importance of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between the Republic of Korea and Japan to U.S. and allied security interests in the Indo-Pacific.
In August, South Korea announced its intentions to withdraw from GSOMIA. This resolution passed ahead of the Nov. 23rd deadline for South Korea to officially withdraw.
“The United States’ alliances with both Japan and South Korea are indispensable to contending with the shared threats from North Korea, China, and Russia,” said Risch. “These threats are more urgent than ever, making closer bilateral and trilateral cooperation all the more important. The General Security of Military Information Agreement between South Korea and Japan is crucial to our national security and to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. I urge South Korea to continue its participation in this agreement.”
“Vital, healthy and robust alliances and partnerships are critical to our success in the world, and no two relationships are more fundamental than those with Japan and the Republic of Korea,” said Menendez. “The current friction between Japan and Korea requires adept and agile diplomacy to resolve. This resolution sends a clear message that America looks to its friends to work together – and work with us – to address these issues appropriately, and to work together to build the architecture that the region needs to benefit our collective security and prosperity, and our common interests and shared values.”
“The military intelligence-sharing agreement between South Korea and Japan, known as GSOMIA, is an instrumental tool in protecting our mutual security interests in the Indo-Pacific, and I am proud to introduce legislation that underscores U.S. support for it,” said Inhofe. “Now, as much as ever, we need strong defense cooperation to counter threats from North Korea and other agitators in the region. In the coming days, as dialogue with Japan continues, I hope the South Korean government will reconsider its decision to withdraw from the agreement.”
“In these uncertain times, closer cooperation and coordination between and among our allies and partners is crucial to maintaining stability in the INDO-PACIFIC. I hope Japan and South Korea will endeavor to overcome their historical differences and continue to work together on important security issues that threaten the region,” said Reed. “The General Security of Military Information Agreement between South Korea and Japan is an important security tool that should not be abandoned and I hope both countries will renew the agreement.”
The resolution, S.Res.435, was introduced on Nov. 20. A copy of the resolution is available on the SFRC website, and will soon be available on Congress.gov.